Veteran Taylor keys Hanover's win over New Oxford in SPL play


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May 27, 2023

Veteran Taylor keys Hanover's win over New Oxford in SPL play

Hanover’s Bobby Taylor was one of the most feared hitters in the South Penn

Hanover's Bobby Taylor was one of the most feared hitters in the South Penn League for a long period of time.

The 27-year veteran doesn't have the same thunder in his bat as he once did, but he can still swing a potent stick from time to time. On Wednesday, Taylor delivered a pair of knocks in the Raiders’ 7-4 victory over New Oxford at Diller Field.

"I had been seeing the ball well, but just haven't been having any luck. Hit a ball really well in the last game and it was caught," Taylor said. "Tonight, I hit a couple balls hard and was able to get a couple hits."

His first knock came in the bottom of the first with the game knotted at 1-1 after Zach Keffer had hit into a fielder's choice that scored Pat Brady.

With Wade Linebaugh at third, Taylor laced a single to center that allowed Linebaugh to trot home and push the Raiders in front.

Hanover (3-4) added a run in the second on Brady's groundout that scored Andrew Worley.

In the third, Taylor followed Keffer's leadoff walk with a double to right. Both runners ended up scoring in the inning on a pair of wild pitches as Hanover had a 6-3 advantage after three frames.

"I love the game and as long as I feel that I can keep doing it, I’ll keep coming back," Taylor said. "As long as I feel that I can keep contributing to the team, I’ll keep playing."

Raider player-manager Adam Smith added, "Bobby shows up ready to play every day. He works as hard as anybody in the league at being in top shape and he coaches the guys up. It's like he's an extra coach and the guys listen to him."

New Oxford (3-7) plated its first run in the top of the first when Hunter Gillin scored from second on an error, then in the third, E.J. Lowry rapped a two-bagger to right-center that chased home Andrew Warthen and Cody Valentine.

The Twins threatened in the fifth when Gillin walked and Lowry singled with two down, but Hanover righty Jon Karlheim buckled down and retired the next hitter on a flyball to end his night on the hill.

Karlheim gave his team five strong frames to earn the win. He allowed three runs (two earned) on six hits with one strikeout and one walk. He threw strikes on 48 of his 66 pitches.

"Jon did a really nice job. He threw a lot of strikes tonight," Smith said. "He doesn't strike out a lot of guys, but he throws strikes and lets his defense do the work."

In the bottom of the fifth, Smith came home with Hanover's seventh run of the night, which he manufactured after walking with two away.

He stole second, then swiped third and when the catcher's throw sailed into left field on his steal of third, he scampered home.

"We’ve been getting guys on all year and haven't been able to score them," Smith said. "Tonight, we got them on and got them in."

Down four in the seventh, New Oxford gave itself a chance by being patient at the plate as Hanover's Brandon Zepp couldn't locate the strike zone. Zepp walked three batters in the frame, including Myles Shearer to bring home Cameron Macinyak, who walked to start the inning.

That brought cleanup hitter Derek Huff to the plate and with a full count, Huff bounced into a game-ending double play.

"We’ve been impatient at the plate all year," Ox assistant coach Jeremiah Gillin said. "Some of our swings just aren't very good at times."

Gillin added, "We’re swinging at too many pitches that are out of the zone and taking big hacks with two strikes when we should be shortening up and just trying to put the ball in play."

Hanover's 10-hit attack was led by two knocks each from Taylor, Brady and Worley.

Meanwhile, Lowry's three hits and two hits each from Valentine and Warthen produced all seven of the hits for the Twins.

It’ll be a quick turnaround for both squads as the Raiders hit the road for a matchup with league-leading Hagerstown (7-0), while the Twins host Frederick (4-4). Both teams are set play tonight at 6 p.m.

Follow Tom Sixeas on Twitter at @TomSixeas

New Oxford 102 000 1 — 4 7 1

Hanover 312 010 x — 7 10 1

Gino Grob, Myles Shearer (3), Cody Valentine (5) and Amari Bullock, Hunter Gillin (4); Jon Karlheim, Pat Brady (6), Brandon Zepp (7) and Wade Linebaugh. WP: Karlheim. LP: Grob. SO-BB: Grob 1-3, Shearer 2-2, Valentine 1-0; Karlheim 1-1, Brady 1-0, Zepp 1-3. 2B: NO-Lowry, Valentine; H-Bobby Taylor.

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